WLU women fall in NCAA Regional
CALIFORNIA, Pa. - The West Liberty University women's tennis team saw its season come to an end Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 loss to Mercyhurst (Pa.) in an NCAA Division II Atlantic Region tournament semifinal at the Roadman Park courts.
It was the third consecutive regional tournament trip for Coach Heather Gallagher's Hilltoppers (16-9) but the West Virginia Conference runners-up couldn't get anything going against the Lakers (15-4).
The Pennsylvania squad jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead by sweeping all three doubles matches.
West Liberty tried to regroup in singles play but Mercyhurst was able to bring the match to a swift conclusion with straight-set wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
The Lakers will take on No. 16 California (Pa.) on Sunday with the winner advancing to next month's NCAA Division II national championship tournament.
Toppers, Cards split in baseball
WEST LIBERTY - West Liberty and Wheeling Jesuit opened the final weekend of the regular season by splitting a West Virginia Conference doubleheader at Kovalick Field by scores of 2-1 and 11-6.
Mark Smyth led the way for West Liberty in the opener as the talented freshman hurler handcuffed Wheeling Jesuit in a complete-game gem.
Smyth had four strikeouts and didn't walk a batter in the route-going performance. He came within an out of hurling a three-hit shutout before yielding a solo home run to Tim Giebel with two out in the top of the seventh.
The Hilltoppers were held to just three singles but the opportunistic hosts made the most of them, scratching out unearned runs in each of the first two innings to give Smyth all the cushion he needed.
West Liberty appeared to be cruising to a doubleheader sweep when it took a 6-4 lead into the sixth inning of the second game but WJU exploded for seven runs in its last two at-bats to salvage the split.
The Cardinals comeback took a bit of the edge off a big game by West Liberty's Mike Johnson, who belted a pair of home runs to chase home half of the Hilltoppers' six runs. Scott Castilow added a two-run single.
WLU softball sweeps Bluefield
BLUEFIELD - Sara Emerich hurled a no-hitter to help the Hilltoppers finish off a sweep of Bluefield State in a season-ending doubleheader by scores of 9-4 and 4-0.
Emerich struck out six and didn't walk a batter. She carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before committing a one-out error to give Bluefield State its only runner of the game.
The Hilltopper ace still wound up facing the minimum as the runner was thrown out trying to steal and Emerich finished off the gem with her sixth strikeout.
Maggie Starr and Taylor Zeiger each had two singles for West Liberty. Felicia Hulslander and Leanna McMillen each singled and drove home a pair of runs.
Bethany men's lacrosse loses
BETHANY - Kyle Arrington had five goals, but Bethany could not slow down Baldwin Wallace, who posted a 20-11 victory in the final regular season game for both teams.
Bethany will play in the first PAC Tournament beginning Wednesday.